I have an embarrassing confession.
Embarrassing because I’m a dietitian, and really should know better about some things, you know? It started because I’d been feeling pretty tired and run down for quite some time. A part of it has likely been due to being burnt out, but still I wanted to eliminate any other possibilities.
So I went to the doctor and asked for some blood tests. We chatted, I said I was the dietitian in town, and when I told her what I was thinking might be up she asked me, “So if I need to send you to a nutritionist, who would I send you to?” (She was joking, I think)
But about a week later, the results were back, and indeed as I suspected my iron was low. I’m not anaemic, but I am on my way, the iron storage molecules, or the ferritin as it’s called was low.
I’ve been a vegetarian for going on 10 years now. And I’ve also always been very active, lots of running, that sort of thing. That combo (and being a woman) often leads to low iron, if not anaemia. And while I watch what I eat, I was paying more attention to balanced macronutrients rather than getting iron-rich foods.
So what did I do? I’m supplementing for now, but I’m also increasing my intake of iron rich foods; beans, legumes, pumpkin seeds and dried fruit. I’m also watching my intake of Calcium foods (bye-bye cheese!).
And this prompted a remake of my roasted vegetable soup!
The change? Instead of coconut milk, I used beans, along with the red pepper and tomatoes for Vitamin C powerhouse (vitamin C is iron’s best friend when it comes to absorption!).
Red Pepper, Tomato & Bean Soup
4 Red peppers
4 ripe tomatoes
4-5 cloves garlic
Olive oil, salt and pepper
1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups vegetable broth
1. Slice tomatoes, peppers in half, drizzle with olive oil and roast in 400F oven for 30-40minutes. Roast the garlic as well, covering the cloves in tinfoil, and removing closer to the 20-30minutes mark.
(at this point you can allow to cool and store in the fridge until you want to make the soup, or make it all at once…)
2. Place half of everything (vegetables, garlic, beans, and broth) in a blender. Puree until smooth, and transfer to a pot. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
3. Bring to a boil (just barely, you don’t want that burnt tomato taste), then lower heat and allow to simmer for 15-20minutes.
Notes: This soup definitely has a different texture, not as creamy. It is very hearty and filling though.
Variations: I actually wanted to try it with the squash, not the tomatoes, but there wasn’t any left at my grocery store here! Both Red peppers and Tomatoes are strong in vitamin C, so you could use one or the other and replace the other vegetable with something like squash, or sweet potato for a very hearty and filling soup.